A good falafel is hard to beat. They are high fiber, high protein, low GI, vegan, and most importantly - delicious!
This recipe also calls for fresh parsley and fresh coriander, which contain a healthy kick of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as giving gorgeous flavour.
Using dry chickpeas means you'll have to plan a bit further ahead as ideally they should be soaked overnight to rehydrate them, but it really does add to the flavour, as well as reducing the price by a huge amount. The other bonus with dry chickpeas is you can often get them from bulk bins so you can bring your own bag and skip out on that pesky packaging.
Whilst this recipe is not gluten free, I swapped out over half of the flour for rice flour in my last batch and it turned out just fine so I am sure with a bit of tweaking you could adapt this pretty easily.
1 cup dry chickpeas
1/2 a large onion, roughly chopped (I used red onion to add a bit more flavour)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt (I used herbamare, which also contains a bit of veggie stock)
2 teaspoons paprika or chipotle
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons curry powder (optional)
chili powder to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons of flour (give or take, you may find that your chickpeas want a bit less or that you want a firmer paste)
The day before you want to make your falafel pop your dry chickpeas into a bowl and cover with cold water for at least 12 hours. Your chickpeas will expand to about double their size so leave at least 2 inches of water above the chickpeas for them to absorb. You can add a teaspoon of baking soda to help the process but I haven't found it to make much difference.
Set the oven to 190 degrees C.
When your chickpeas are nice and plump, drain them and put them in a food processor with your onions. Pulse them until they are well chopped and are in rice sized bits.
Add your chopped herbs, garlic, salt, oil and all of the spices. Pulse until the blended but not completely smooth. Some people like their falafels more paste-y but I like mine with a bit of texture.
Now add your baking powder and flour, you will probably need to scrape the dough off the sides of the processor to get the flour properly mixed in. Pulse until combined.
Set aside for an hour or so if you have time for the flavours to start developing. If you don't have time it is fine to just cook them right away but they will be a tad less flavoursome.
Form the dough into blobs of between walnut and golf ball size and dump them on a greased oven tray.
You can fry them in about 2 centimeters of oil, but I prefer them baked as they are much healthier. Bake for about15 minutes, until firm and slightly golden, then pull them out, flip them, and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. This way they should be nice and crispy all over.
Boom, you're done! I buy all of these ingredients in bulk or at farmers markets so this recipe costs me about NZ$6 all up for about 20-25 golfball sized falafel blobs of joy, which feed my family of 5. Once you add salads, sauces and wraps it probably comes to about $4 per person for a really good feed.
My favourite toppings to accompany my falafels on my wraps are homemade 4 ingredient salsa, homemade humus, spring onions and yummy salady bits.
If you find falafel a bit dry usually then the extra sauces will really help!
Let me know if you have any breakthroughs on how to make these hold together without the glutenous flour, or if you have any other delicious variations! :)